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(Attention: i'm making this review based upon what I’ve heard on the promo cd to which I had access in the last days before this review, but the content is exactly the same that’s present on the original release...)
So Dani and his hellish vampiric servants have once again risen from their graves to give us some more "100% make up" metal. A long time went from the release of Midian, their last originals record before this one, and the band went through a lot of changes that would eventually affect their sound in a (well, I can't say negative) different way. Robin, their long time bassist exited, being immediately replaced by ex- Anathema nocturnal pulse Dave, and the band was not a 6, but a 5 piece showcase that recorded their album with only a guitarist, the (almost gaining the "Dracula" rank in the band...) Paul Allender, that recorded all the parts, the most of them eventually composed by him.
And this is exact reason why I decided to call this record "We wanted to make another Midian, but even taking the crap out of ourselves, we didn't managed to do it.", instead of "Damnation and a Day". Gian Pyres was without doubt a very skilled riff maker, and it's very sad that we get to realise this after his departure of the band. Paul Allender's guitar rhythms are almost the same thing in all of the record, some thrashy speed, coupled with some death metal riffs over here and there, something really boring sometimes, very far from the massive rifforama of songs like "Chtulu Dawn". It's a similar guitar work to that present in "Midian" but with lower intensity and much less catchy...
Dave plays his role in a competent way, not proving yet why is he a worthy replacement over Robin, but he'll have lots of time to show what he can do (ah ah, just kidding...probably Dani already fired him).
Adrian is not often allowed to show his true potential as a drummer since the songs have some rhythm basis and changes that don't allow him to make some furious blast beats or really thunder-drumming, but I still think he made an hell of a job, and he's a very skilled drummer (what is he doing in C.O.F???).
Martin Foul’s keyboard playing gained a lot of respect from me on this one, not by the role he played on the metal songs, but for those little instrumental pieces. Really vampiric melody stuff capable of putting your hairs all up and make you imagine that you have Dracula himself just at your back. I knew he was good on My Dying Bride, but somehow he managed to transcend himself.
Well, all that it's left are the "glammy vampiric horrid screams" by Dani. Bah...same deal like the one he's been making since the "Cruelty and the Beast" album. Those really high pitch screams with that sinister dracula voice, and those furious beast growls. The saaame thing.
Well about the songs...There are 2 great songs, good songs, some average, and some not even worth mention. Hey, this one has it all!!! 17 songs. After hearing it I got the thought that they could mix pairs of 2 or 4 songs into one and make this a high quality 8 or 10 track record, but, you know that even vampires get their teeth really bend over when getting old, and my god these guys cant drain a drop of blood to save their lives now.
Very worth listening to "Presents to the Poison-Hearted" and the death metal amazing rifforama of "The Promise of Fever". "The Smoke of Her Burning", "Babalon A.D", "Better to Reign in Hell" and "Carrion" are also good but at the same time they get the rank of "not very interesting" along with the others.
Still, it's a good Cradle of Filth album to get. Their weakest until now, but still very "headbangable"...